Our speaker on 8 September 2011 was Mr Greg Pullin (1) whose topic was The Battle of Britain: A New Perspective - 71 Years On. He introduced his illustrated talk by reminding the audience that the Battle of Britain was a pivotal event in history and explained that the 70th anniversary had been marked by renewed interest in the topic and the publication of new books, based on research of recently released official documents, as well as new statistics
. After the Dunkirk evacuation Great Britain was on her knees. The Army has been saved but virtually all the weapons, stores, equipment and vehicles have been left behind in Belgium and France. If the Germans had landed in England nothing would have prevented them from defeating the British Armed Forces. At the time of the Battle of Britain the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS): Royal Air Force (RAF), was Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall,(2) Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding was the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Fighter Command; Air Vice-Marshal Sir Quintin Brand(3) was AOC 10 Group; Air Vice-Marshal Sir Keith Park was AOC 11 Group; Air Vice-Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory was AOC 12 Group and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Richard Saul was AOC 13 Group. Their opposites were Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief (C-I-C) of the Luftwaffe; Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring, C-I-C of Luftflotte II; Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle, C-I-C of Luftflotte III General-Oberst Hans-Juergen Stumpff C-I-C of Luftflotte V. The overall C-I-Cs of the opposing armed forces were Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.
England was divided administratively and operationally, for air defence purposes, into four sectors and groups: 10 Group - South West England; 11 Group - South East England, London and the Channel area; 12 Group - The Midlands and the East and West Coasts above 10 and 11 Groups and 13 Group - Northern England and Scotland. After the fall of France and the Lowlands, England was partially surrounded by German air power: Luftflotte V was based in Norway with headquarters at Stavanger; Luftflotte II was based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France with headquarters in Brussels, while Luftflotte III occupied bases elsewhere in France close to the Atlantic seaboard, with headquarters in Paris.
Whereas the RAF was divided into organic components (i.e. Fighter-, Bomber-, and Coastal Command, etc.), the Luftwaffe was divided into operational structures where each Luftflotte was a self-contained combat formation, each consisting of its own organic fighter-, dive-bomber-, bomber- and reconnaissance units.
On the 10th of August 1940, the RAF had 990 single-engined fighter aircraft on strength, whereas the Luftwaffe had 3,358 single- and twin-engined fighters as well as bombers and dive-bombers on strength, of which 2,550 were serviceable. Overall the RAF was outnumbered by almost three-to-one, while there was almost parity with regard to fighter aircraft.
Officially the Battle of Britain lasted from 10 July to 31 October 1940. Mr Pullin then explained the British air defence system, which enabled the RAF to win the battle. This consisted of an early warning system, known as the Chain Home Radio-Direction Finding (RDF) System (the initial description for RADAR: radio detection and ranging), linked to operations rooms from which the defence response was coordinated, assisted by a high-frequency radio network. Although the radar system was very primitive by today's standards, it was nonetheless very effective. In addition the Observer Corps provided reports based on visual observations and the sector defence systems reported, collated and disseminated information. A major factor contributing to the British victory was the German Luftwaffe's underestimation of the importance of the British radar stations and the level of technical progress made. Equally vital to the RAF's success was the excellent wreck recovery and aircraft repair organisation.
The Luftwaffe command believed that the RAF was all but destroyed and on 19 July 1940 Hitler made a last appeal to reason for he did not want a war with Britain.
Mr Pullin then discussed the four phases of the Battle of Britain.
During Phase 1 (1 July to 7 August 1940) the Luftwaffe carried out high-altitude reconnaissance flights and attacks on the ship convoys passing through the English Channel, the line of RDF stations along the coastline and on coastal towns in the planned invasion area. The Germans fought the Battle of Britain in order to gain aerial superiority over the RAF and Royal Navy otherwise a secure passage of the intended invasion fleet over the English Channel cannot be guaranteed. On 10 July 1940 the Luftwaffe started attacking shipping convoys in the channel and channel ports. They attacked British radar stations and masts and damaged some very badly, but the impact was less severe that than thought due to the steel-girder and support cable construction which was difficult to hit and withstood the blast effect of near-misses by bombs. The Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive-bombers were particularly effective in the early days during the campaign in France and the Lowlands, and against the radar masts. However, in English skies they became easy prey for the RAF's Hurricanes and Spitfire fighters and the heavy losses sustained led to the type's withdrawal by mid-August.
During Phase 2 of the battle (8 August to 6 September 1940) the Luftwaffe attempted to destroy the RAF in the air and on the ground. The size and number of raids against the south coast of England was increased and the Germans believed that the British early warning system had been destroyed and coastal towns sufficiently softened up for an invasion.
The German Dornier Do-17 twin-engined, medium bomber and its derivatives were particularly good at carrying out low-level attacks on British airfields because they were fast and could not easily be detected by radar as they flew under the radar cover. By September the situation in 11 Group had become desperate and small civilian airfields were used as auxiliary landing strips in the emergency because many RAF fighter airfields had been badly damaged. Despite heavy casualties the tired ground crews worked miracles and kept the fighter planes serviceable and combat-ready under severely trying conditions, as was humanly possible. It was suggested that the RAF fighters be pulled back north of the Thames River, but Dowding and Park decided against ceding the Germans air superiority over the intended invasion area. So 11 Group fought on against the almost insurmountable odds.
To keep up the pressure, the Germans began night operations to stop the RAF ground crew and civilian labourers from repairing the damage overnight. On 24 August 1940 ten German bombers that had become disoriented and lost their way, bombed Central London by mistake. This led to a reprisal raid on the German capital, Berlin, the following night by some eighty RAF bombers. This raid was followed by several others and this resulted in Hitler ordering that the German assault on the British airfields be called off and that retaliatory raids be flown against British population centres, particularly the British capital, London.(4)
Phase 3 of the battle (7 September to 5 October 1940) was called the "Blitz" and entailed the massed night bombing attacks on London and other large British population centres. This switch in strategy was a major tactical error on the part of the Germans by allowing their battle plan be amended drastically late in the battle by emotional sentiment and the mistaken belief that the continuous attacks on the British fighter airfields were not destroying enough fighter planes of the RAF. Hitler's change of heart (and plan) served the RAF well as it allowed 11 Group to effect life-saving repairs on its airfields and the radar installations.
Important considerations in the evolvement of aerial combat tactics were the human factor and technology. The Germans evolved superior aerial combat tactics due to the blooding of the fledgling Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War. Therefore most of the more successful German pilots during the Battle of Britain were pilots who earned their "wings" during this four-year conflict on the Iberian Peninsula. The German fighter tactics and formations had been tested in battle: in Spain, Poland, France and the Lowlands - and had not proved wanting. The British tactics on the other hand, had hardly evolved from that of the First World War and the only "combat" experience consisted of bombing recalcitrant Iraqi and Afghan tribesmen during the 1920s. The standard British fighter formation was a section and consisted of a "vic' of three aircraft. Twelve aircraft made up a squadron and thus consisted of four "vics". This formed the cornerstone of Fighter Command's attack formations which were designed to deal with unescorted bombers. In all there were six prescribed tactical formations for attacking enemy aircraft. Although sections can be echeloned to the left or right as is convenient, the formation was unwieldy as rapid changes in direction was difficult. A change in direction called for the outer aircraft to accelerate and the inner aircraft to throttle back to keep formation, an exceedingly difficult manoeuvre in the heat of battle (compare to a platoon of marching soldiers making either a right- or left-turn). They were rigidly inflexible and it was only the blooding at the hands of Luftwaffe fighter pilots during the battle that led to some soul-searching and adapting new tactics, but not before 1941. Many Fighter Command pilots lost their lives as a result of these inflexible tactics. The attack formations were set-piece battles, time-consuming and difficult to execute, which led to some squadrons unofficially adopting the German battle formations. In comparison, German formations operated in pairs, called a "Rotte", with the standard formation consisting of two "Rotten", and being called a "Schwarm". A squadron ("Staffel") thus consisted of three "Schwärme". These formations were very flexible and could execute a rapid change in direction in a tight turn by the expedient of a cross-over turn which necessitated no acceleration of throttling back. The cross-over only result in the inversion of the formation, i.e. the right-hand "Rotte" becomes the left-hand "Rotte" of the "Schwarm" once the turn has been executed.
Due to shortcomings in the performance of certain makes of aircraft and the concomitant failure of equipment, the German fighter pilots were at a major disadvantage having to fight on the foe's choice of battlefield - the skies over Southern England - and on their terms of engagement. Being designed as a "Heimatschutz" (lit. "home protector") fighter, the main combat aircraft, the Messerschmitt Bf-109 single-seat and -engined fighter, was more than a match for the opposition, but suffered from a serious defect - limited range. The second-line fighter was the Messerschmitt Bf-11 "Zerstörer" ("destroyer") - a two-seater, twin-engined aircraft, designed as a fast, long-range fighter. It quickly became clear that the Bf-110s were no match for the more nimble Hurricanes and Spitfires. This resulted in the 109 pilots having the incongruous task of providing protection for the 110-equiped squadrons - on the same basis as the protection provided for the bomber squadrons. Due to its short loitering time over England - 20 minutes - the Bf-109 pilots could only engage in battle on their own terms, and then for only a very brief period. The harassed German bomber squadron crews, in turn, did not appreciate - or care - for the fact that the fighter pilots have to engage in conditions favourable to them. This entailed intercepting the British fighters when they formed up or try and disperse their formations before they came close to the German bomber formations. What the bomber crews therefore only saw, were RAF fighters attacking them. They complained bitterly about their being "neglected" - with the result that Goering ordered the fighters to fly in close formation with the bombers, not understanding that this completely negated the tactical advantages of the German fighters and that zig-zagging to keep station with the slower bombers just used up the fighter's precious fuel reserve so much quicker. The end result was predictable - the bomber losses only escalated. To offset this design flaw in the Bf-109 fighter, the Germans had designed jettisonable auxiliary fuel tanks earlier on, which were used during the Spanish Civil War. However, the Messerschmitt Bf-109E used during the Battle of Britain, was not wired or plumbed for drop tanks. Two versions of drop tanks were manufactured - a metal version and a wooden version treated to not interact with high-octane fuel. Both were failures - the metal version was unpopular with the pilots because it caught alight very easily when hit by gunfire and the pilots refused to use it, while the wooden drop-tank did not live up to its intended purpose and succumbed to the ravages of nature and therefore leaked like a sieve. Two versions of the 109E were in use - the E3 and the E4 variants. Both had two machine-guns of 7,92mm in the nose and two 2cm cannon in the wings, providing for a heavy punch.
The pilots and planners of the RAF, however, were not complacent and continually sought to develop and evolve new tactics to outclass the German opposition. Our speaker discussed the different tactics employed by the various commanders of 11 and 12 Groups. Dowding believed in a flexible command structure and allowed his subordinate commanders to evolve and perfect their own tactics which they believed to be most effective. To this end a tactic that proved to be extremely successful was the "Big Wing"-concept of Mallory's 12 Group. The "Big Wing" was an air fighting tactic developed by Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and the famous Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader. In essence, the tactic involved meeting incoming Luftwaffe bombing raids in strength with a wing-sized formation of three to five squadrons. This tactic was effectively employed by the Duxford Wing, under Bader's command. Park, CO of 11 Group, believed that best results were obtained by meeting the enemy raids with individual squadrons, which he considered to be the most flexible and effective use of his aircraft, particularly in light of the shallow depth of penetration of Britain's airspace by the Germans. He used "hit and run" tactics with an enemy raid potentially being engaged by several squadrons in turn. The tactic however, resulted in high loss rates amongst the squadrons of 11 Group and was not popular with his subordinate commanders. The loss rates on both sides had proven this to be a battle of attrition and to provide mutual protection and reduce casualties, they also wanted to employ larger formations, on par with the "Big Wing"-concept of 12 Group's fighter squadrons. However, 11 Group's fast response tactics with whatever was available to meet the enemy, as far as possible from their targets, was best suited to their proximity to the German bases. Park employed his squadrons with brilliant effectiveness and must be considered as the architect of the RAF victory in the Battle of Britain. Knowing the target to be London and the industrial centres, enabled British controllers to assemble a large number of fighters to attack the German formations and scatter them before they could drop their bombs. In comparison the Hawker Hurricane was a more dated design and slower than the Supermarine Spitfire which was a very manoeuvrable and popular aircraft. The Hurricane was armed with eight .303 calibre machine-guns and was a much more stable gun platform than the Spitfire which was initially only armed with similar machine-guns. Later on the Spitfire was also armed with a mixture of rifle-calibre machine-guns and 20mm cannon. The Hurricane was a popular aircraft and Hurricane-equipped squadrons were more numerous than Spitfire-equipped squadrons, at a ratio of 2:1, while the former also shot down more German aircraft than its more modern stable-mate.
Winston Churchill's appointment of Lord Beaverbrook as Minister of Aircraft Production was described by Lord Dowding as "magnificent" and resulted in the production of 4,283 fighters during 1940.
Mr Pullin next discussed 15 September 1940 - now commemorated as "Battle of Britain" Day. At 09:00 Fighter Command had 660 serviceable aircraft. British fighters claimed destroyed 176 enemy aircraft (124 bombers and 53 fighters) plus 41 "probables" and 72 damaged.(5) Anti-aircraft artillery claimed another seven aircraft destroyed and five "probables". RAF losses were 25 aircraft lost and 13 pilots either killed or missing.
Phase 4 of the battle lasted from 6 October to 31 October 1940. During the final phase of the battle the Luftwaffe continued heavy bomber raids against the British cities at night. German fighter-bombers flew nuisance raids against airfields and coastal towns. The attrition rate of German bombers proved to be too costly and the bomber force switched to night operations, during which they caused heavy damage to British cities. To counter this threat the RAF developed night fighters, equipped with airborne radar sets. The success rate initially was disappointing, but as the equipment improved and operational skills grew concomitantly, the success rate improved considerably.
During the day, German fighter planes - mostly 109s, but occasionally 110s, operating as fast-attack bombers ("Jagd-bomber" or "Jabo") - carried out small- and large-scale raids aimed at engaging the RAF fighters and disrupting defensive operations over the South-East of England. The "Jabos" flew fast and high and proved difficult to intercept. The advance warning from the radar interception stations was too short to allow a Spitfire to climb to the correct height for successful interception. To overcome this, standing patrols were instituted, patrolling at a height of 15,000 to 20,000 feet. The German successes proved to be inconclusive as losses due to successful interception and poor weather brought the raids to an end in late October.
The Luftwaffe command realised that the RAF could not be defeated in 1940. This led to the actual invasion, Operation "Sealion" being postponed indefinitely (as well as the main focus of military operations on the continent shifting eastwards).
Our speaker next discussed the statistics of the battle. These showed that Britain produced more single-seat fighters than Germany in 1940. The RAF single-seat fighter strength was higher than that of the Luftwaffe for all months, except July, and its serviceability rates were always higher than that of the Luftwaffe. Fighter Command flew more combat sorties than the Luftwaffe during the battle. Hurricane and Spitfire production and repair always covered losses, and in fact, increased the number of fighters available. Fighting a defensive air battle over home territory was advantageous to the RAF because sixty per cent of the British planes shot down, were repaired and many of their pilots lived to fight another day. The German pilots and aircrew shot down were lost to the German war effort. German propaganda claimed that the RAF was almost destroyed and would soon be defeated; therefore the unexpected strength of the RAF came as a demoralising shock to the Germans. Italy joined the battle on 25 October 1940, the last week of the battle - its contribution was too little, too late - and the Regia Aeronautica proved to be largely ineffective.
The Luftwaffe's overall strategy was to defeat the RAF before invading England. The Luftwaffe's initial attacks on the radar installations, airfields, aircraft factories and ports were very successful. Hitler's deviation from the battle plan - the decision to switch from bombing military targets to bombing population centres - saved the RAF. Whereas in Britain Churchill and senior commanders had access and insight into the battle plans of the Germans through the Ultra code breaking, the Germans were misled through faulty intelligence into believing that the damage to British airfields were much extensive than it really was. British deception measures also resulted in many non-Fighter Command airfields being bombed. Not only did they fail to knock out the radar installations, but the Germans also failed to realise how an important role the early warning system played in terms of the overall victory.
The RAF's strategy was to employ Hurricanes to attack the bombers while the more nimble Spitfires were utilised to attack the German fighter planes. Of the various Fighter Groups, 11 Group bore the brunt of the fighting while 10 Group provided much-needed support. Recent research has also shown that twenty-five South African pilots took part in the Battle of Britain, among them the redoubtable and well-known Squadron-Leader Adolf Gysbert "Sailor" Malan, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (1910-1963), born in Wellington, Western Cape. The most senior South African to serve in the battle was Air Vice-Marshal Quintin Brand, as mentioned at the beginning. The Commanding Officer of one of the Gladiator squadrons was also a South African. Three South Africans were viewed as "aces", having shot down five enemy aircraft each, while another two also qualify if shared kills are taken into account.
A total of 2,936 pilots served with Fighter Command, which included, amongst other, British, Commonwealth, American, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, French, Czech and Polish pilots. The RAF lost 544 airmen killed, 422 wounded/injured and 1,547 aircraft destroyed. It is not known how many German pilots served in the battle, but 2,698 German airmen were killed, 967 captured and 1,887 aircraft lost. The German losses are preponderantly higher due to the crewmen killed in the bombers shot down.
Mr Pullin explained the significance of the Battle of Britain. The RAF's victory was the first major victory for the Allies since the start of the war. Although German military power was not seriously threatened, the Luftwaffe's defeat resulted in the indefinite postponement of the invasion of England.
He concluded his talk by considering whether Hitler seriously intended to invade England in 1940 and whether the losses sustained during the battle adversely affected the invasion of the Soviet Union. He questioned the Luftwaffe's inability to provide drop tanks for the Bf-109E fighters. He also pondered the reasons why Germany had not put pilot training and aircraft production on a wartime footing. Then there was also the matter of Dowding and Park not receiving recognition or being mentioned in the official Battle of Britain commemorative booklet published in 1941. Was it as a result of them being retired and/or sidelined? He also questioned the fact that a Spitfire Fund was created, but nothing similar for the Hurricane, while it is commonly acknowledged that the Hurricanes were responsible for more enemy aircraft losses than the Spitfire. He is of the opinion that the Battle of Britain ended not with a bang, but with a whimper! The battle had been a close-run thing, but not as close as is continually still being propagated. The Battle of Britain did serve as a badly needed tonic to give the nation hope and stiffen the British people's resolve to continue the war, despite the odds.
The Treasurer, Mr Bob Buser, thanked our speaker for a well-presented, most interesting and enlightening talk and for honouring all who had taken part in this great event. He again reminded the audience that the seventy-first anniversary of the battle is only a few days away. Mr Pullin was presented with the customary gift.
Brig Gen Dick Lord was not well lately and is still recuperating at home. He sends his best wishes to all our members and especially those who regularly contact him and enquire about his health. Their concern is much appreciated by him and his wife, June.
We wish to acknowledge and thank the kind-hearted fellow-member (who wishes to remain anonymous) who made a substantial financial contribution to the Branch coffers - it is much appreciated!
We thank those members who have paid their subscriptions recently and urge those who have not yet paid to please do so as soon as possible.
The Society is planning an outing to Simon's Town on Saturday, 22 October, to visit the Naval Museum, the submarine museum and, if time allows it, the Simon's Town Museum, which is in itself rich in naval history. Members or friends of the Society who wish to join us, must please email or phone either the Chairman, Johan van den Berg (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 021 939 7923 / Cell: 082 579 0386); the Secretary or the Treasurer (see below for contact details).
We will congregate at the SA Legion's Rosedale complex (where the Society meetings are held), from where we will depart for Simon's Town, to leave punctually at 09:00. Members are urged to take on passengers, so as to keep the convoy as small as possible and make our green contribution! We will arrange for the Naval Museum to expect us at approximately 10:00; the submarine museum at 13:00 and the Simon's Town Museum approx. at 15:00 (if time allows). Please bring along either a picnic basket or provide for lunch at 12:00, as well to provide for funds to purchase some of the excellent publications on sale at the two museums on land, if so inclined. Please note that the ferry to the submarine is R40,00 per adult and R20,00 for children under twelve years of age (a portion is donated to the Naval Heritage Trust that goes towards the upkeep of the submarine).
13 OCTOBER 2011: MARITIME SPECIAL OPERATIONS DURING THE BORDER/ ANGOLAN WAR by Rear Adm (JG) A G Soderlund, SANS (Ret)
Our speaker will be addressing a little-known topic that will be of great interest to members and visitors alike - it deals the clandestine side of operations during South Africa's Border War and the conflict in Angola. Rear Adm (JG) Arne Soderlund is currently researching this subject in depth as co-author of a forthcoming book dealing with the maritime special operations during the conflict in question.
10 NOVEMBER 2011: FOR KAISER AND HITLER: FROM MILITARY AVIATOR TO HIGH COMMAND - The Memoirs of Luftwaffe General Alfred Mahncke 1910-1945 by Jochen (John) Mancke
Life-member John (Jochen) Mahncke is no stranger to society members; having been Chairman of the Gauteng Branch before moving to Cape Town where he subsequently acted as Vice-Chairman and Scribe of the Cape Town Branch for many years, he has been a highly popular and respected member with members of both branches throughout the years of his tireless involvement. Well-known for his articles in the SAMHS Journal and his numerous talks relating to early German aviation as well as aspects of his father's life, it is as translator/compiler of his late father's memoirs of the same title as in the subject heading, that Mr Mahncke has risen to new prominence as author of a book that was published to international acclaim and recognition. As is the case with many non-fiction books, especially on historical topics, a lot of information invariably is left unsaid, for brevity's sake. Such is the case with his father's memoirs. His lecture will be structured so as to elucidate his father's military career from pre-WWI up and to WWII, as told in his book. For members that have had the foresight to purchase a copy in the recent past few months - and have read it - the lecture will surely prove to be as informative and enjoyable as the book has been.
DECEMBER: In Recess. The first meeting for 2012 will be held on the THIRD THURSDAY of January.
(1) Mr Pullin is well-known in aviation heritage circles and is the current chairperson of the Friends of the SAAF Museum at Ysterplaat (Cape Town), a group of dedicated volunteers who devote spare time and effort to help maintain the museum's collection of vintage military aircraft. (2) Later the Lord Newall, since 1937 the military head of the RAF, and in 1941 appointed as Governor-General of New Zealand, a post he would hold for the remainder of the war.
3 Air Vice-Marshal Sir Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand KBE, DSO, MC, DFC, (1893-1968) was a South African officer who joined the SA Defence Force in 1913, transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, and subsequently served in the RAF. Along with Lt-Gen Pierre van Ryneveld, they are better-known as the South African pilots who became famous for their record-setting attempt to fly in the Silver Queen (a converted Vickers Vimy WWI-era bomber) from London to Cape Town in 1920. Both were knighted for their attempt, although they did not succeed in setting a new record.
4 Contrary to popular belief, it is startling to read in a book written by an ex-high official of the Air Ministry that Britain originated the bombing of civilian targets, and not Germany. In Bombing Vindicated (Geoffrey Bles, London, 1944) by J.M. Spaight, C.B., C.B.E., formerly Principal Assistant Secretary at the Air Ministry, he states, unequivocally, that: "....(in) truth...it was we who have started the strategic bombing offensive (i.e. "unrestricted aerial warfare" - ed.) ......giving our great decision of May 11th, 1940, the publicity that it deserves.........it was a splendid decision" (p.72). The book also makes mention of the fact that the decision referred to above, relates to the decision in 1936 to build a strategic air force - thus 1936 was the date that the RAF's Bomber Command was organised (p.38) - "The whole raison d'etre of Bomber Command was to bomb Germany should she be our enemy" (p.60). He also states that this is the primary reason why Hitler was anxious to come to an agreement with Britain "to confine the action of aircraft to the battle zones". He also confirms that Hitler only reluctantly gave orders to commence the bombing of the British civilian population AFTER the RAF had started the bombing of the German civilian population (p.47). Another myth that bites the dust is the fallacy that Britain undertook the bombing of German cities only after the tragic bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940. The British decision (as referred to above) dates from 11 May 1940, the day after Churchill was installed as Prime Minister - the bombing of Rotterdam occurred on 14 May, 1940. - ed.
5 Careful analysis and cross-referencing of claims consolidated the actual losses suffered by the Luftwaffe at 60 aircraft - thus an over-estimate to the ratio of almost 3:1.
BOB BUSER: Treasurer/Asst. Scribe
Phone: 021-689-1639 (Home)
RAY HATTINGH: Secretary
Phone: 021-592-1279 (Office)
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TREASURER, MR BOB BUSER, IS NOW CONTACTABLE ONLY AT HOME: PHONE NUMBER 021-6891639 AND EMAIL: email@example.com.